The New York Times article below describes the debate surrounding the case of Ethan Couch, a teenager from a wealthy family who killed four people while driving drunk. Couch, who pleaded guilty to the crime, was sentenced to 10 years of probation instead of a prison sentence that the prosecution had sought.
Here are two very different responses to the verdict:
“They make mistakes, they’re prone to impulsive behavior…And at the same time, they are capable of change” – Liz Ryan, President, Campaign for Youth Justice.
"Just when you think our excuse-making culture has sunk as low as it can go, somebody goes yet lower” – Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation.
Perhaps both Ms. Ryan and Mr. Scheidegger are justified in their thinking because they're focusing on different aspects of a larger truth. Setting aside the issue of fairness and justice in the Couch case, we know that the existence of "Affluenza", a loosely defined term that generally describes an attitude or mindset of "entitlement", bodes poorly for families that aspire to multi-generational True Wealth. The case of Ethan Couch is a reminder that reducing the prevalence of an attitude of entitlement would be a small step in a positive direction.
Teenager’s Sentence in Fatal Drunken-Driving Case Stirs ‘Affluenza’ Debate
Questions have been raised about the role of family wealth in the sentencing of a 16-year-old behind the wheel in an accident that killed four people in North Texas.
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